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Your Home | Renovations

After a divorce, a mother of three goes all in on her own home style

Looking for a fresh start, a Chestnut Hill homeowner finds an edgy feminine aesthetic feels just right.

Mixed media artwork enlivens the traditional architecture in the living room. An Anthony Fahden piece hangs above the fireplace and another by Laurent Laporta is over the slatted console by Would.Joyelle West

Initially the plan was to redecorate the guest bedroom. However, once Jodi Sokoloff, who lives in Chestnut Hill with her three sons, connected with designers Ryan Stanton and Jessica Schwartz, she decided to change the vibe throughout. “I wanted to start fresh after my divorce and make all the rooms feel more like me,” Sokoloff says.

The designers helped Sokoloff cultivate her personal style. “I needed to figure out my individual taste,” she says. Her sister-in-law was a sounding board and her mom weighed in, too. “They called me together about refinishing the dark floors because they weren’t working with the hip, new design,” Sokoloff recalls. “They said, ‘Do it right!’”


Stanton and Schwartz leaned into a feminine aesthetic with a palette of bright neutrals, natural woods, dusty pinks, and deep purples, accented with hits of green and black to lend an edge. “It’s the juxtaposition that makes it interesting,” Schwartz says.

Once the floors were lightened, the entry was an easy fix. White paint replaced the grass-cloth wallcovering, while black and pale gray paint enlivened the fusty brown wood of the stairs. A charcoal runner with aubergine undertones grounds the space, a sculptural pendant floats above, and an oak console with a leather top by Providence maker Liz Welch is an earthy, artisanal touch.

The high-contrast scheme enriched with natural wood carries into the kitchen, where the statement marble backsplash kicked off the design. The stone — Caribbean Island — is the same type Gwyneth Paltrow used for the bar in her Montecito, California, home (though the designers point out that they installed the backsplash before the star’s Architectural Digest reveal). The countertops are much less precious. “Quartz is a better choice for families since it’s so durable,” Schwartz says. “Design decisions have to support how clients use the space.”


In keeping with that directive, they doubled the size of the island and created tons of storage. “The house is a revolving door for friends; now Jodi can entertain without a second thought,” Schwartz says. The team also re-engineered the pass-through to the dining room into a walk-in pantry, a feature that was sorely lacking in a family with three growing boys. The brass and glass Moorish pendants by L’Aviva Home reflect Sokoloff’s penchant for Bohemian flavor.

In the dining room, the team demolished the columns that flanked the opening from the entry in favor of walls with crisp edges and painted the wainscoting the same shade as the walls to modernize it. A ceramic chandelier from L’Aviva Home and an artisan-made wall tapestry speak to Sokoloff’s boho aesthetic, while the aubergine rug toughens up the soft neutrals and ties to the runner on the stairs.

Oak is introduced with the sideboard and tabletop, both by Providence maker Shaun Bullens. The table legs are made out of pink and terracotta-colored marble repurposed from another of the designers’ clients. “The stone was left over from slabs we sourced in Portugal for clients who were inspired by [influencer] Athena Calderone’s bathroom,” Stanton says.

There’s a bit more color in the living room thanks to splashes of mossy green in the camouflage-patterned rug and the mixed-media artwork with florescent flourishes. Sokoloff’s sectional hugs a low-slung oak coffee table, another piece by Liz Welch. As the family’s main living space, the furnishings are comfortable and withstand roughhousing. “I want our home to look lived in by a family who loves each other and does things together,” Sokoloff says.


The adjacent office is painted in Farrow & Ball’s Sulking Room Pink, a dusty rose that makes for an alluring backdrop for the sturdy but sexy desk that the duo designed. New, two-tone custom cabinetry stretches along one wall with an integrated window seat; there’s also a Sherpa chair. “It’s an office that invites her sons to join her,” Schwartz says. Before, the room had two clunky desks and papers piled everywhere. “Now, it’s like, ahhhh,” the homeowner says.

That sentiment extends to the whole house, which Sokoloff says is totally her. She attributes the result to the designers’ exquisite taste and dynamic. “Jess really got me as a mom and Ryan pushed the envelope,” she says. The designers love that they helped Sokoloff discover her voice. “It took time,” Stanton says, “but once we found it, it was magic.”


Interior Designer: Stanton Schwartz Design Group, stantonschwartz.com

Contractor: Phoenix Home Services, pci-1.net


After: A raw cotton wall tapestry from Obakki infuses Bohemian appeal in the refreshed dining room.Joyelle West
Before: Formal décor and a silver ceiling previously graced the dining room.
A custom gray hood with oak strapping breaks up the run of all-oak cabinets over the range.Joyelle West
Micro Shaker-style kitchen cabinetry conceals the walk-in pantry, which was created from an opening to the dining room.Joyelle West
The homeowner’s stylish sister-in-law, Jacqueline Tatelman, founder of State Bags, sent her an image that inspired the two-tone office cabinetry.Joyelle West

Marni Elyse Katz is a contributing editor to the Globe Magazine. Follow her on Instagram @StyleCarrot. Send comments to magazine@globe.com.